What I Read This Summer
Hard to believe it, but my roommate texted me this morning to remind me that she and I will be moving back into college exactly two weeks from today! It may be a bit premature, but since I will no doubt spend these next 14 days in a whirlwind of work and packing, I thought I’d spend time today doing a comprehensive write-up of some of the best books I read this summer.
The Lockwood & Co. Series by Jonathan Stroud
Speaking of my roommate, Lockwood & Co. was one of the first series that she insisted I read. And boy, I am glad she did. These books, about a small ghost hunting agency located in a ghost-ridden London, are atmospheric and thrilling and oh, so, funny. The characters are witty, charming, and hilarious; and I think one of my very favorite parts of the series is the use of swords against ghosts. I highly recommend these books, and I can’t wait for the finale of the series to be released in September.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
I will admit that Tash Hearts Tolstoy has had a bit of a special place in my heart ever since I read the synopsis, and I discovered as soon as I’d finished the first chapter that my interest in it was well deserved. This book, while not the best or most unique I’d ever read, definitely resonated with me in a lot of ways.
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
If you’ve been around for a while, then you know that I am always on the hunt for the next great superhero novel. While Not Your Sidekick was by no means ~flawless~ I found it thoroughly enjoyable, if a bit predictable. I fully figured out two of the most major twists within the first 70 pages or so, but it honestly didn’t bother me too much. Besides that, I found the romantic subplot pretty adorable, and the world had a lot of potential. Hopefully, I’ll pick up the sequel(s) at some point!
Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab
After being completely floored by This Savage Song a bit over a year ago, I will admit that I was a teensy bit disappointed by Our Dark Duet. I would say a lot of what the sequel was missing was the discovery elements that made the first book so compelling – unfortunately, not much more was revealed about this duology’s universe within the second book. Without revealing anything, I would say that the ending did feel fitting, though I did not find it to be very satisfying.
The series almost feels like it needs another book, though I’m not quite sure how another one could be managed.
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
I will start out by saying I have no clue how to rate this book, because while I didn’t love it, it was a very compelling novel that I think explores a lot of issues that need to be explored in fiction right now, such as Islamophobia, and the experience of growing up in America as a second generation Indian immigrant. While a lot of the romantic elements of this book were really not for me, I think it is a very timely one that is certainly worth reading, even just for the perspective that it gives on the life of someone very different than me.
The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (and Why They Keep Biting Me) by Albert Wade White
This book is the sequel to a book I read over winter break, and while I found the first book extremely odd, I was also amused enough that I found myself compelled to pick this one up. And let me tell you, I feel about the same after reading this one as I did after reading the first one. Except, I will admit that I very much want to know what is going on in the world this series is set in. It seems to show hints of either being set inside a computer or of the world being controlled by a computer, and that’s just very fascinating to me. They’re hilarious books that have a lot of fun by playing with the classic tropes of the epic fantasy genre, and I think the right person would very much enjoy them.
I’m not sure if I’m necessarily the “right person,” but I will be reading the next installment for sure.
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
This is the fall book release I’ve been most excited for this year, and so I was even more hyped when I was able to read an advanced copy! I think Alexandra Bracken is an absolutely wonderful writer, and Halloween-y, demon-filled middle grade is just the thing I love. Prosper Redding did not disappoint. It was utterly fantastic, with such a great story. I adored the back-and-forth between Prosper and his resident demon, Al. It was just hilarious, with just the right amount of angst and indecision. I would’ve loved to get a little more knowledge of Prosper’s family, but all in all, I really enjoyed this book. I’m definitely excited to read the sequel, even if I’ll most likely be waiting a little more than a year to read that one.